Smith Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at High Rock Lake

June 17, 2024
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

LEXINGTON, N.C. (June 17, 2024) – Boater Ronnie Smith of China Grove, North Carolina, caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on High Rock Lake. The tournament was the fourth event of the season for the BFL North Carolina Division. Smith earned $3,838 for his victory.

“I’ve been catching them pretty good for about three weeks out deep,” Smith said. “I fished deep today (Saturday). I caught them on a big worm and a jig in about 18 feet of water. They were set up on stumps, brush, high places in the mid-lake.”

Smith says a tip from a buddy led to his starting the day out in deep water, even though he’d been fishing shallow water in the mornings leading up to the tournament. After losing his first fish, he quickly landed three quality bass, including a 6-pound, 15-ounce kicker that earned him the Berkley Big Bass award on the boater side.

With those three in the box, Smith ran to another creek and caught a 5-pounder, then moved again and landed several more quality fish to solidify his limit early.

“They bit good this morning,” said Smith, who has decades of experience on High Rock.

“That’s the key,” he said of his experience. “I’ve fished that lake for about 40 years. Over 40 years. Fifty years, probably. So I’ve got a lot of seat time down there. And the fish aren’t everywhere. They’re just in certain areas.”

His key baits were a 3/4-ounce football-head jig and a 10-inch Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Ronnie Smith, China Grove, N.C., five bass, 20-5, $3,838
2nd:       Ron Wolfarth, Oakboro, N.C., five bass, 18-11, $1,709
3rd:       Mike Kiser, Linwood, N.C., five bass, 18-3, $1,138
4th:        David Bright, Mooresville, N.C., five bass, 17-11, $923
5th:        Adam Flora, Red House, W.Va., five bass, 16-14, $684
6th:        David Wright, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 16-12, $1,127 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
7th:        Jason Thomas, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 15-13, $570
8th:        Scott Hamrick, Denver, N.C., five bass, 14-8, $513
9th:        Landon Whicker, Winston-Salem, N.C., five bass, 13-13, $756
10th:     Chad Sims, Lancaster, S.C., four bass, 13-8, $399

Complete results can be found at

Smith caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and earned the Big Bass Boater award of $420. David Grant of Arlington, Virginia, won the co-angler division and $1,709 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 16 pounds, 10 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

1st:        David Grant, Arlington, Va., five bass, 16-10, $1,709
2nd:       Greg Mauldin, Archdale, N.C., five bass, 15-0, $855
3rd:       David Deciucis, Chester, Va., five bass, 14-4, $570
4th:        Jean Lacerte, Elm City, N.C., five bass, 9-12, $399
5th:        Alex Moss, Lambsburg, Va., three bass, 8-6, $442
6th:        Chip Crews, Trinity, N.C., two bass, 8-3, $313
7th:        Dustan Hudson, Grover, N.C., four bass, 7-12, $285
8th:        Joel Cerv, North Wilkesboro, N.C., two bass, 7-1, $256
9th:        Andy Kearns, Trinity, N.C., four bass, 6-15, $228
10th:     Jason Hinger, Timberlake, N.C., four bass, 6-13, $349

Richard Young of Rutherfordton, N.C., earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $210, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After four events, Scott Hamrick of Denver, North Carolina, leads the Fishing Clash North Carolina Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 953 points, while Hunter Alexander of China Grove, North Carolina, leads the Fishing Clash North Carolina Co-Angler of the Year race with 963 points.

The next event for BFL North Carolina Division anglers will be held Sept. 28-29, at Lake Norman in Mooresville, North Carolina.